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Poetry NonScenes was set up in 2013 by Dr Tom Penfold and is funded by UCL's Global Engagements Award. It runs in connection with the South African Poetry Project (ZAPP) and leading perfomance poets in the Gauteng region. It aims to promote up and coming South African poets and celebrate the vital contribution poetry can make to education. In so doing, it also hopes to challenge lingering academic misconceptions around contemporary poetry.

Dr Tom Penfold is Lecturer in African History at University College London (UCL). Prior to that he worked at the University of Birmingham and the University of Johannesburg. He is an expert in South African poetry and performance culture, and has published a monograph and numerous journal articles. He also contributes regularly to Africa in Words

The South African Poetry Project (ZAPP) aims to promote achievement through the learning and teaching of southern African poetry (in English) in schools in South Africa. It works closely with colleagues at the University of the Witwatersrand and UNISA to instil knowledge, understanding and a love of poetry in young learners.

Mandisa Vundla is a South African based (Soweto/KZN) poet notoriously known as the first  two-time undefeated Word N Sound slam champion. Vundla is an educator, slam-coach, co-editor of Home Is Where The Mic Is, and founder of the Poetry Zone ZA: a poetry development agency focused on creating new sustainability models to improve the quality of spoken word culture and its trade. Having worked in the industry for over a decade,


Vundla utilizes her creative experience to shelter young emerging poets under her wing  — through the Brave Spoken Youth project. When she’s not in service of younger emerging voices, she works as a slam-coach at Poetry Africa. In 2022, she was listed as an  MG200 Young Leader for her contribution to the South African poetry sector. In 2023, she released her debut spoken word poetry album, titled  A Love Song for Miriam Makeba. Listen to it  here to experience her spellbinding truth. The album is deeply inspired by Miriam Makeba’s humanity, servitude and genuine love for Africa and her people. 


Highrez Media is a premier destination for cutting-edge media solutions in South Africa. Established in 2021, the team boasts over seven years’ experience in the industry. We are dedicated to shaping compelling narratives and fostering engaging interactions through social media content, corporate media solutions, events coverage, and high-end imagery. 


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